Ex-Pakistan envoy to US denies memo link

January 9, 2012 - 9:46 AM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's ex-envoy to the United States has formally denied any connection to a memo sent to Washington asking for its help in preventing a purported army coup.

Husain Haqqani stated a repetition of his frequent denials before a Supreme Court commission investigating the origin of memo. It convened for its first session Monday.

The probe could add to pressure on the shaky civilian government, especially if it states that President Asif Ali Zardari knew about the memo. He denies that.

Haqqani resigned over the memo under pressure from the powerful army, despite his denials of involvement.

Haqqani's lawyer Zhadi Bokhari briefed the media after Haqqani gave his testimony.

He said Haqqani swore under oath that he "didn't write the memo" or have any connection to it.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Militants killed 10 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers they had been holding hostage since last month, the second time the insurgents have killed security force captives close to the Afghan border in a week, a government official said Monday.

The incident shows the brutality of the insurgency in the northwest at a time when the Pakistani government is claimed by some insurgent commanders to be entering into peace talks. The government and the army have denied any negotiations are under way.

The bodies of the Frontier Corp soldiers were found in the Orakzai region near the border, said Naeem Khan, an official in Kohat town. Militants were not immediately available for comment.

Khan said the 10 were seized Dec. 24 in a militant raid on a security base in Orakzai.

Last week, insurgents from the Pakistani Taliban killed 15 members of the Frontier Constabulary, a police paramilitary unit. They put out a statement saying this was in revenge for an army operation that had killed a top commander from the Pakistani Taliban.

The Taliban have been fighting an insurgency in Pakistan since 2007 that has killed thousands of soldiers, police and Pakistani civilians. The militants are tied to al-Qaida, which also has leaders in the northwest and insurgents fighting across the border in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani army has launched operations against the Pakistani Taliban in the northwest, but the militants have proven resilient.